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welcome to "the last word" holiday party where we will choose our person of the year and a whole lot more. >> whoa, whoa, whoa, let's step back for a minute. >> can we drop a little bit of the bolognbologna. >> pick any other republican in the country. >> i think it's about envy. >> he is the worst republican in the country. >> i think it's about class warfare. >> you chose to start the debate with it. don't try to blame somebody else. >> i'm the tortoise. i just take one step at a time. >> if you don't run, chris christie, romney will be the nominee. ♪ >> if men are from mars and women are from venous. >> republicans are waging the war on women. >> is mitt romney from jupiter. >> i believe the supreme court
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should overturn roev. wade, yes. >> i love you, women. >> back in my days they used bayer aspirin for contraception. >> the gals put it between your knees and it wasn't that costly. >> history will made at the supreme court. >> the individual mandate is constitutional. >> this is the decision. >> a fascinating week. >> i know the debate over this law has been witnessed. >> democrats thought they were going to lose and republicans thought they were going to win. >> i think roberts found the answer. >> when we look back we will be better off. >> governor romney's caught on tape moment. >> the shocking tape from romney. >> it's not elegantly stated. let me put it that way. i'm speaking off the cuff. >> in his words, nearly half of the country will never take personal responsibility for their lives. >> it's not elegantly stated. let me put it that way. i'm speak off the cuff. >> if i were a rich man, diby, diby, dibby dumb, dumb. >> people want to know who is going to win.
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who is going to score the punches. >> both presidential candidates battening down the hatches. >> i'm sorry, jim. i to be the subsidy to pbs. i like pbs. i love big bird. bought us binders full of women. >> governor, we also have fewer horses and bayon i don't know i don't know nets. >> big bird. >> binders. >> i just called president obama to congratulate him. >> i congratulated him and paul ryan on a hard fought campaign. >> i prey that the president will successf fuful in guiding nation. >> we are an american family and we rise or fall together. the task of perfecting our union moves forward. tonight we are celebrating the year in the news, the winnersnd the losers, the person of the year and we will handout the donald trump award to the person who has embarrassed him or herself the most this year.
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all right. let's start with the most valuable player of the 2012 presidential campaign. alex wagner, the most valuable player of the 2012 campaign. >> in my book, it's david pluf. i think this is a line in the sand for american campaign politics. i think, you know, you said beginnings of what with dean and certainly obama .10. >> crystal, most valuable player of the 2012 campaign. >> i have to say we don't know exactly his identity or her yooidity, but the -- probably the waiter who placed the camera at the mitt romney fund-raiser and captured the 47% comments which i think encapsulated for a lot of people their concerns about mitt romney and the fact that he really wasn't there for all of america that he didn't understand the problems that average americans were facing. >> let's listen to that little moment of video history, the 47%. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. all right.
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47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. so my job is not to worry about those people. they should take responsibility and care for their lives. >> a very valuable contribution to the campaign. >> i'm going go with bill clinton. >> for one speech at a convention? >> it was more than one speech. it was 20 years in the making the story of that speech was for the first 15 years they treated bill clinton like he was the worst thing that ever happened in american politics, villain in chief and even after he left the white house he was afraid of the clinton restoration and 2008 when obama had the clintons when the republicans decided, wait a minute, no, bill clin clin to is this bygone symbol in america of cooperation and good government and moderation and sang his praises for four years. set him up as the good democrat against obama's bad democrat.
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what happened, the good democrat stole the show, vouches for the bad democrat and disarmed an awful lot of. ares are saying about president obama. >> chris hayes, the mvp of the campaign? >> the mvp of the obama campaign was rick per prip it was rick perry's entrance to the race that pushed mitt romney to take the tackically wise but strategically stupid step of going full out elegant. >> tackically wise for that moment. >> for that moment. it totally destroyed rick perry. he dispatched rick perry with that rhetoric with the $100,000 subdiddy to the illegals, the dream act which unallowed undocumented students to go to the university and pay in-state tuition. romney destroyed rick perry on that issue. but it was in the rhetoric he deployed there i think he sealed his fate in the general election with latinos who he got blown out in and provided a huge margin in a lot of swing states. >> great point. my choice is, of course, the
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anonymous videographer who captured the 47% tape which is why we happen to have that tape now. >> i was going to say you guys worked that out. >> why it happened to be ready. now, the best move of 2012. what was the best move of 2012? >> this is really hard because some part of me as a political junkie thinks the best move is the most incendiary crazy there, for that mitt romney moving across the stage and grabbing rick perry on the shoulder. this physical debate style which also revealed him for crazy and not driven by the same things most humans are driven by but the competitive workforce bot. i think at the end of the day we keep going back to the 47% video. i was waiting to hold it. >> you can use it as much as you want. it will be back. >> it is everything. the release of that and the timing of that changed the contours of the face forever. >> we don't really know who was responsible for that timing. crystal, the boaest move.
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>> the best move, mine actually goes to chris' point about immigration. i think it was the president when he gave a press conference announcing that he would halt deportations on young undocumented immigrants and it really sort of closed off a path for mitt romney and trapped him over there on the right in self deportation, rick perry land. and he was not able to make any pivot back to the center to try to appeal to latino voters to try to strike a more reasonable position on immigration because the president basically cut him off at the pass. i think that was a very smart strategic move. >> steve? >> i'll look at the step down to the senate level here. i think the smartst and the best move of the year was clear mccaskill's position in missouri to say i think i want to run against todd aiken. i think he's the one republican in the state to get this year. the rest is history. not only did it affect her race and help her win a race she had no business winning but there was obviously a ripple effect to
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help democrats nationally. >> chris, the best move of the year. >> i think the best move of the year is joe biden, essentially never do which is answering the question honestly and without premeditation and in his "meet the press" interview with david gregory. was this a trial balloon, was this preplanned, trying to gain it up? no, no, no. joe biden was asked a question, he answered with a kind of moral legitimacy and a truthfulness that actually had these remarkable effects which is that it pushed the president to come clean about his own personal evolution. i think that also made a huge difference in the campaign. >> joe biden. >> my best move of the campaign we actually have a little visual assist on this. "washington post" says, obama and his allies spent less on advertising than romney and his allies but got far more in the number of ads broadcast and visit in key markets and in targeting critical demographic groups such as the working class
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and young working voters in swing states. i thought what they did with tv advertising, specificity of t it knowing exactly what they were going is something we had never seen before. the worst move of the 2012 campaign. >> two things on this. one is probably choosing paul ryan to be the vice presidential nominee. just because, a, it never gave him the left that anyone thought it would. he neutered ryan as a political force in the campaign and for paul ryan it brought to the floor the horrible draconian things he was pushing. the ryan budget, 2340 way to run away with it. >> crystal? >> alex and i are on the same wavelength here. i think picking paul ryan was the worst move not only for all those reasons and mitt romney went on to lose wisconsin badly but also there were questions particularly after paul ryan's debate performance against joe biden of whether he was really ready to step on the stage and to be the number two and i think for a lot of people who were thinking about maybe going with romney not only were they
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uncomfortable with how far to the right he was, how extreme his positions on social security and medicare, but they also just felt like he wasn't quite ready for prime time. i think it was a very bad strategic move for them. >> steve, the worst move? >> let me come at it from a slightly different angle. >> you ulz do. you don't have to preface it. >> it's the booze talking. i don't know. from the standpoint of voters who, you know, i think to make an informed choice what do you have, you have the debates. what do we have with the debates this year, jim lar for the moderator for the 16th time and he moderated the first debate which was the designated domestic policy debate in the domestic policy, broad, huge topic, you can have climate change, gay marriage, abortion, all of that was ignored and we talked about simpson bowls and the deficit reduction. >> around no explanation of what those things were for the average person. >> inside the beltway debate. you only get really one domestic
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policy debate now for the entire fall campaign. open this thing up to new voices, to fresh perspective, to broader perspectives. i don't mean to pick on jim layla leyer but enough. >> the obama campaign and the not surprising decision of mitt romney and debate moderators to never raise climate change for the first time since 1988. if you go back to the tape in 1988 where dan quayle was asked about the fact carbon was warming the earth, yeah, that's going to be a problem, we should do something about it. here we are 24 years later and it doesn't even get a mention in any of the debates. >> i have another video assist from my answer here. the worst move, the worst decision of the campaign was to do what you're about to see at the republican convention. >> oh. >> i just wondered, are all these promises and then i wondered about, you know, when
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the -- what? what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. i can't do that to himself. you're absolutely crazy. up next, the rising star of 2013, and the best and worst political theater of the presidential campaign, and, of course, biggest winner, bigger loser person of the year, and the donald trump award. ♪ sometimes what we suffer from is bigger than we think ... like the flu. with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away.
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the rising political star of 2013, chris hayes, who will that be? >> massachusetts senator elizabeth warren, i think. it's not an easy thing to do what she did. i think people -- she was a star on this network and among progressives but to go, particularly as a woman in massachusetts that takes some
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real doing and i think she is going to be an absolute for us in the u.s. senate. >> steve, the rising star? >> pains me a bit to say because i'm not that -- >> say it. >> this is going to be the year with cory booker. >> not just in new jersey. crystal, the rising star. >> new congresswoman from hawaii, tulsy gavert. the youngest woman in the house and first hind du in congress. >> alex, the rising star. >> i asked you to go with chris first because i thought it was going to provide me some cover. i was going to say elizabeth. >> sure, you were. >> it's true. >> i'll tell you why. >> you want to give up going first again? >> i would like to go first. >> you will go first next time. i am going to agree with alex wagner, not chris hayes, alex wagner. we're going to be back with more of "the last word with holiday party." stay with us. ♪ ♪
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they sent out their minions to do their bidding. washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. the firefighter startered when the cowardly sensed a weakness. a lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. but out of the billowing smoke and dust have tweets and trivia
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emerged gingrich. >> that, of course, was the best actual political theater of 2012, tony award winner reading of a newt gingrich press release, i believe. let's do the best political theater of 2012, and we are now going to start with alex wagner again because she has demanded that we start with her. >> it's a contractual obligation. >> yeah. >> it was the best because i couldn't believe it was happening in mid august. mitt romney took to the white board to explain what he was doing with medicare. >> i loved that. >> which in and of itself was a hoax. but the notion that this man would have this horribly staged managed moment in an effort to show that he was all about business, completely blew up in his face and cemented i've ri narrative out there. >> i don't know if the mikes can pick it up but drinks are being spilled over there. >> party fouls. >> crystal ball, the best
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political theater. >> well, i also have a newt gingrich moment. when he turned questions about him asking his former wife for an open marriage. parlayed that into a debate moment of huge applause moment at a debate in the primary and then parlayed that into an actual victory in the south carolina primary. incredible. >> we happen to have that video queued up. let's take a look at newt. >> she says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. would you like to take some time to respond to that? >> no, but i will. [ applause ] i think -- i think the dru destructive, vicious, negative nature of the much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder for decent people to run for this office.
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i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. >> that was obviously my choice, too, for best political theater. that's why we have that ready. steve, best political theater. >> i remember my favorite thing about that episode is in the reporting afterwards, gingrich went up to john king and said, no hard feelings. it really was there. >> very helpful to him. >> it really was theater. my favorite moment in political theater, i guess, was in the final presidential debate when mitt romney thought he had landed the killer blow against barack obama. >> oh, yes. >> on libya. >> oh, yes. >> failure to call it terrorist attack. >> started physically closing in. >> in line when obama knew exactly what was happening, exactly the trap that romney was falling for. he said, governor, proceed. >> please proceed, governor. >> we don't have that cued up. chris? >> i thought the entire democratic convention was really flawlessly done from pure
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theatricallies, compared to the republican convention that i thought it was a theatrical disaster, we built that, yes, we did, we did. i thought that backfired. i thought bill clinton's speech was political theater at its best insofar as it was genuinely edifying. he was not afraid, he didn't do the cheap and easy thing which was to do something surfacey. he went into the weeds of the details of the policy and explained them and it actually made for great theater. >> worst political theater. >> i can't believe we haven't mentioned this before. herman cain's entire campaign. it was a hoax. he wasn't actually really running. he was an actor on the national stage. he had command of his audience. at the end of the day, it was theater. >> worst? >> this is water before i get a lot of tweets. >> we are the water drinkers. >> water team. worst political theater, i would say after the 47% comments came out and mitt romney decided to do this hurried press conference where he looked frazzled, the hair was a little eskew and he had nothing to say and
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essentially dug the hole deeper for himself. i think that was the worst political theater of the campaign. other than clint eastward, of course. >> right before the critical michigan primary, the romney campaign is a little bit on the roips. rick santorum polled on the polls. the romney campaign said we're going to pull this around with a major economic speech and they went down to the detroit lions football stadium, about .002% full. the wide shot was one of the most hilarious things i've ever seen. >> the worst political theater i think was the numbers in the president's campaign in the spin room after the first debate in denver. very, very, very gamely attempting -- attempting to put a happy face. >> for me it was a particular moment in the herman cain campaign. it was kind of when -- it was when he had stuff twirling around in his head and we're going to look at that right now. >> so you agree with president obama on libya or not?
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>> okay. libya. president obama supported the uprising, correct? i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. no, that's a different one. i got to go back and see. >> oh. >> i got all of this stuff twirling around in my head. >> oh, we missed him so badly. we're going ba b. back more with if biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. back more with if biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. back more with
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if biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. ack more with f biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. back more with biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. ck more with i biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. back more with biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. back more wit biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. biggest surprise of the 2012 person of the year, donald trump award, coming up. t biggest surprise of the 2012 he
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and the sorry to see you go category. chris hayes? >> legendary major league baseball union president marvin mill whole died this year at 95. i got the pleasure of interviewing him last year when i was working my book. totally and completely transformed and revolutionized both major league baseball and
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professional sports and converted a system which was essentially endentured serve tuesday where owners could pay players nothing into the modern free agency system in which players would recoup a fair market value. >> steve, sorry to see you go? >> you probably haven't heard of him but joe early, a congressman from massachusetts my kind of politician and my kind of congressman me cared about the city that's a tough city. he brought lots of money back and projects back and lost his career in a trumped up, fake scandal that rick santorum and john boehner created in the '90s. he lost his career, reputation, put on trial, exonerated but spent the last 20 years of his life totally unappreciated and died this year. he deserved a little bit of regular cognition, joe early. >> phyllis diller. amazing trailblazing comedian. >> she was. >> alex, sorry to see you go? >> i have two. george mcgovern and rob gi shank gl guard. very different men.
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>> i'm very sorry to see go whitney houston. >> yeah. we're going to be back with more of our "last word holiday show." ♪ smoothes, lifts, defies? red jars are all the same right? wrong! you need three uses of a $15 cream to equal the moisturizing power of one use of regenerist microsculpting cream.
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we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. ♪ welcome back to. >> reporter: "the last word" holiday party. our new category is the biggest surprise of 2012. karen finney, what was the biggest surprise of 2012? >> that we were able to call the election right around 11:00. >> you know, i wasn't surprised by that. >> wow weren't surprised? >> i actually thought that's what was going to happen. >> i literally had thought that
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it was going to be a much longer night. >> most people did. >> i thought it was going to be a much bigger mess. i did not think the president was going to win without us having some debacle in florida. thankfully we did. >> joy reid, the biggest surprise. >> the biggest surprise is that mitt romney actually chose paul ryan as his running mate. i have to say i said on the very last word, the after show to this show and i think i was with ari, you know, who should romney pick, pick paul ryan. ideologically he's the right guy. but is the democrat secretly? i was like, oh, please, pick paul ryan. i didn't think he would do it. >> there were so many reasons not to pick him. >> so many reasons not to pick him. as a democrat it was the perfect thing because it crystalized all the things that democrats didn't like about mitt romney and that the case they wanted to make about him this sort of distaste for the ordinary person, for the 47%, the idea of voucherizing medicare, all of that suz crystalized in one person. and he picked him to be his running mate. i was very surprised. >> ari, biggest surprise of 2012. >> the biggest surprise to me
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was something that was way behind the scenes. the debate commission makes these rules and usually secret. this year they leaked, first on time and you can read these rules. turns out the debate rules restrict the moderator from doing any fact checking or any commenting or response to the answers the candidates give. we never knew that before because it's the between the candidates and the commission. it's crooked and i think sort of very untransparent in a lot of ways. we learned that. the next cycle there's going to be a lot of pressure to change the rules. >> i hate the rules and did a couple of rewrites on the show about the rules. my biggest surprise of 2012 was president obama's performance in the first debate. i kind of went -- >> horrifying. >> everyone's biggest. >> it didn't completely start to settle on me until we were about 50 minutes in that, you know, because i was kind of -- you're kind of waiting for the engine to start. >> he's going to -- >> it didn't quite -- yeah.
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>> it's going to -- and then did it. >> it was amazing. >> i think that they were so confident in their math in the obama campaign that he didn't go into that debate taking it all that seriously and i don't think he thought, why am i here with this guy. >> it's that incumbent president thing. that first debate is always, oh, boy, i'm so out of shape with this. >> rusty. >> he didn't take eye contact seriously either. he was sort of -- >> yeah. now, here's the -- this comes to our annual donald trump award. donald trump has been winning this award for the last 20 years on this show so it's been named after him. it is the most embarrassing, the person who has embarrassed himself or herself the most in the year 2012. so for you, karen, this year the donald trump award goes to? >> oh, i got to say herman cain. >> yeah. >> in that interview. >> yeah. >> and he couldn't remember. >> in that video we just saw, yeah. >> maybe a close second with governor perry with trying to remember the three agencies.
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ouch, ouch, ouch. it just hurt. it hurt. >> the difference is perry actually was running for president, cain was running for fame. joy, the donald trump award. >> since karen has taken my two i'm going to go with john sununu. he was the worth surrogate i've ever seen in my life. >> it is so good to be rid of him. >> and he was everything that's wrong with the republican party's brand. surly and con descending and racially insensitive and ugly and he was awful and he kept talking. >> ari, the donald trump award goes to who this year? >> karl rove -- >> on election night? >> yes. >> on politics. both. on politics on election night he had no idea what was going on. on policy this was if year we really saw the public turn against his enduring legacy to go against people who happen to be gay. the public and the republican party are turning against that. that's going to be hig his
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legacy sadly for a long time. >> for 20 years on the show the donald trump award has gone to donald trump. once again, i feel i will be giving it to donald trump because i do find it impossible to updo donald trump on embarrassing yourself. there are a couple of people who tried. they trooid really hard to outdo donald trump. let's take a look at, for example, todd akin. >> yeah. >> first of all, from what i understand from doctors, that's really rare. if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> just when you thought he had that whole jurisdiction wrapped up, there came richard murdoch who we should also take a look at. >> i think even when life begins in that horrible situation in rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> they are legitimate runners up for the donald trump award. >> they are. >> every time i hear that it
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sounds like he's not doing well, on top of it. >> okay. >> there were a number of male, mostly male, republican legislators in state legislatures across the country who made similar comments who remain nameless, hat tip for being just that stupid about women. >> all the people who wrote the republican party's platform this year. they completely agreed with them so none of them could escape it. coming up, the person who we are not sorry to see go. also, we will be picking the person of the year, biggest winner, biggest loser. stay with us. ♪
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and now for the not sorry to see you go category. ari, who are you not sorry to see go? >> allen west.
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>> took mine. >> you took my answer. >> mine, too. >> now people know this is real. >> alan west, yeah. you got -- joy? >> that was my answer. >> runner-up? >> i guess my runner-up is now going to have to be dick morris. i think we're rid of him. >> are we? i don't know. >> he's sort of like -- he's hibernating. >> really? >> yeah. >> maybe he can oblige us and not go away. >> karen finney? >> i think i'm going to have to go with jim demint. >> he is going to disappear. this nonsense of this is a better job is going to go run a stupid foundation in d.c. >> go i head. >> it's actually kind of great to get rid of him. the people who are really not sorry to see him go are republicans in the senate who he was driving crazy. democrats in the senate actually liked having him not like that to kind of paint the whole party. >> can i give a runner-up now? >> please. >> the tea party. the funny hats, the tea bags hanging from their hats and the
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loud, obnoxious rallies. >> they have a functionally disappeared. they had nothing to say during the fiscal cliff crisis. we're going to be back with the person of the year, biggest winner, biggest loser. a lot more, stay with us. ♪ oh this is soft. this is so so soft. hey hun, remember you only need a few sheets. hmph! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. ♪ charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less. hope you saved some for me. mhmm! you and the kids. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra soft.
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welcome back to "last word"
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holiday party. it is now time for the person of the year award. ari, who is the person of the year? >> i was thinking about this. it's a night for celebration but i think it's also a night to honor people. for me when you look at 2012 it would be congresswoman gabby giffords. she resigned this year after a heroic battle dealing with the gunshot wounds that she experienced. we obviously keep her in our thoughts and our prayers. but she was also a leader and believed in public policy and we're going to have to look as we go forward into the next year over how we deal with this enduring problem of gun violence in our country. >> your person of the year? >> this may sound corny but i picked the american voter. i say that because -- does sound corny. >> it does sound corny. i know. it is corny. >> i can't lie. it does. >> it is corny. the reason i said it is because -- >> you said group, not the country. >> the reason is -- >> very "time" magazine. >> it is. >> but i never in my lifetime and i have seen people have to
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endure so many hoops, so many hurdles. >> seven hours in line. >> seven hours in line. and just the overt -- i've never seen it so overt. whether it was in ohio where you have secretary of state there. >> this is not corny. >> people literally fought against the right to vote this term -- this cycle more than i've ever seen in my life. i felt like i was being transported back to the 1960s or the '50s. and in florida where they passed legislation to prevent black voters, specifically, from getting to vote in ohio where the secretary of state did everything including going to the supreme court to prevent people from being able to vote early. i thought people's resilience, people's resolve, people's determination. i met 60-year-old people, older women, people who had disability who said, i'm staying in line if it has to be all day. i was very proud of them. so that was my -- it's corny. >> no, it's not. you beat me on that. >> the images were the most powerful. people waiting in line. >> your person of the year? >> mine was malala. she's so courageous and she reminded us in the middle of a
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rid choice election season about things that are far more important in terms of who the big struggles in this world are about and particularly at a time when republicans were trying to tell women that this war on women is all in our heads, i think it was a good reminder in women what we have fought for. >> she was shot in the head by the pack stn any taliban because she wanted indication fs educat and womens. we have that video. let's look at that. >> i have a new dream. so i have thought that i must be a politician to sell this country. >> why did you change this dream? >> because there are so many crieses in our country so i want to remove these crises and to save my country. >> and i notice there's a little person of the year bug on the video there because she is my choice of person of year, which is why we have that video ready to go. crystal ball, you're person of the year? >> you can just say i agree. no, you can't. >> i have to go with -- i know
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mine is corny, too. i have to go with president obama. he really survived a lot of adversity. he really, i think, was vindicated in a lot of ways. >> you have to make the case for the president being the person of the year. >> yeah. >> alex wagner, your person of the year. >> i'm really boring but i would echo crystal because i think he has come forred himself with so much integrity and honestly and kindness. >> steve, you're the tiebreaker. two for malala over here. >> i'm t not breaking a tie i'm going out on my own, "family feud" style and i'm going to say john roberts, the supreme court chief justice because at the height of an election season with immense pressure from the conservative movement and peer pressure from within the court this guy said the affordable care act, it stands. >> all right. good point. >> coming up, the get ready for this, we're going to have the biggest winner, the biggest loser. the different concept than person of the year. that's up. coming up, more of "the last
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word" holiday party.
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has been by new year. i have breaking news. it's just before 2:00 a.m. on the east coast. we're just barely two hours into the new year. and though we've now technically gone over the fiscal cliff, the senate is voting on a bipartisan compromise. the agreement which was hammered out by vice president joe biden and republican senate minority leader mitch mcconnell would extend tax breaks for people earning less than $400,000 a year or $450,000 for families. it would extend unemployment benefits for a year, and automatic federal spending cuts known as sequester will be delayed for two months and paid for with a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. as you can see, the motion that's taking place on the floor right now, that vote is taking place and we're waiting to hear what the results of that will be.
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now, in a meeting on monday, vice president biden spent 90 minutes selling the plan for senate democrats and he has said he is optimistic about the results of this and now we are waiting to see if it turns out that he was correct about that. we're joined now on the phone by congressional correspondent mike, who has a lot more insight into exactly what's taking place here. mike, happy new year to you. >> happy new year. this is really incredible. the senate is moving at electric pace here. at least for the senate. now, you might think that's a funny thing to say considering these negotiations have dragged on since virtually the day after the election. everybody knew that this so-called fiscal cliff loomed. there was a lot of positioning and posturing all over the course of second half of november and leading up really up until the last few days when vice president biden received a call from the republican leader mitch mcconnell and at long last they got to serious negotiations. and just we're watching this vote as it happens right now.
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listening to the roll call. it appears that it's going to pass with overwhelming support in the united states senate. obviously we have technically gone over the fiscal cliff at this point. however, this will be retroactive to, what, an hour and 53 minutes ago on the east coast. so it would be no effect, with one big caveat, of course. next comes the house of representatives and nobody knows how that is going to work out. republican leaders, after this deal was struck this evening, it became apparent that both republicans and democrats were on board in big numbers. put out a statement saying they pledge to look at what the senate did. they reserve the right to amend it, however, or put it directly on the floor. they're not going to do it tonight. this is going to take place tomorrow at the very earliest and no one knows exactly how republicans are going to react in the house of representatives. it is going to be a very
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interesting day. and at this point we can't say it's a guarantee in any way, shape, or form that the house is going to approve what's being done here. many republicans obviously upset that taxes are going to be very in any shape or form and many democrats are upset that the president came off his original numbers. the president had campaigned on $250,000 number for married couples, over which folks would have their taxes raised. in the course of negotiations, it has now come to $400,000 as you reported for individuals, $450,000 for those filing jointly. over that level, any monies made over that mop any will be taxed at now a 39.6% rate instead of a 35% rate. essentially going back to the clinton era rates, before the bush administration initiated their tax cuts. many democrats were angry about that. we had one tom harken take the
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floor and voice his opposition. but it is flying through the senate now. it looks like it's going to pass with overwhelming support. it's going to put john boehner, the republican speaker of the house, in a very tough jam. folks want this to happen. this deal has been struck. and maura, one other thing, these mandatory cuts, you may have heard of them called the sequester that were to go into effect today that were the result of the last budget deal that they made. they were to be delayed for two months that will coincide with the debt ceiling that needed to be raised. the united states exceeding its federal debt. that requires an act of congress to raise it. so all of these things are going to come together in two months time and people are already now predicting a fight, if you can believe this, even bigger than the one we've just witnessed over the past several weeks, maura. >> and looking forward to what happens next, you mentioned the house and both speaker boehner
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and nancy pelosi said they would consider the plan, although nancy pelosi did not go as far as to endorse it. what can we expect in terms of the house as far as how we can receive this? >> i've got to tell you, the veteran congressional watcher, i am fascinated to see what the house is going to do. here's the argument republican leaders made in the senate and are likely to make in the house tomorrow. yes, this is a horrible bill for us. we're asking many of you to vote against fundamental, a very basic tenant of your political belief, your philosophy, and that is never to vote, to raise taxes in any way, shape or form although technically, we should -- >> i just want to cut you off to report the breaking news that the senate has now approved this budget deal. so, based on that new information that we have, what happens now? explain to us where this goes? >> sure, it goes to the house of representatives. this does not take effect, obviously, until both the senate
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and house have voted on identical pieces of legislation. so the question is will the house take up this identical piece of legislation tomorrow? or will they take this bill up and try to amend it. john boehner has pledged to look at this bill and give the house of representatives a chance to look at it. what i was about to say is what he's likely to tell them is this is a lousy deal. you're violating a basic principle. we're asking you to vote to raise taxes, but we will live to fight another day, in two months, precisely, when the debt ceiling vote has to come and those automatic cuts are going to be coming due. the administration already expects that. the president says he's never going to negotiate over that debt ceiling again. >> now, this is being billed as a bipartisan compromise, compromise being the keyword there when the president wanted to campaign on those making over $250,000.
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so in terms of winners and losers here, if we can break it down, simply who has had to give up a significant amount? and who has been able to win on key points for them and their constituents? >> i think it's a mixed bag for a lot of people. let's start with mitch mcconnell's republican leader. he's got a race in two years. he can see a primary from the conservative side. certainly joe biden comes out 06 this looking great. he came in sort of his superman of the underdog flying in at the last minute to save the day. the president, a mixed bag although he really played his hand to the maximum. a lot of people looked at this and thought he learned his lessons from previous perusing budget battles, health care battles, stimulus battles and republicans in congress and really had them in a corner, had them boxed in really well. however, some of his supporters, you already hear them expressing a great deal of dismay.
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